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Healing into Life and Death Paperback – February 1, 1989
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"In recent years, Stephen and Ondrea Levine have shown us new possibilities in working with the seriously ill. In this heartfelt new book he broadens the domain of his inquiry and concern and fees us to heal by inviting us courageously look at what is." -- Ram Dass.
"Stephen Levine's writings, work and presence have been a shining light to me and thousands of others as he has pioneered new ways of looking at life and the power that the healing of the mind and heart presents." -- Gerald Jampolsky, M.D., Founder and Consultant of the Center for Attitudinal Healing, Tiburon, California.
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Top Customer Reviews
Levine has the ability to put into words concepts that are very hard to get at. If you've been put off by people teaching meditation, or if other past experience has made you think you simply can't meditate, you may find, as I did, that this book opens up a new kind of meditation that really can help you find peace and inner healing.
It also helps you think about illness and suffering in new ways, very different from those you'll find in most self-help books. Levine moves you away from the idea of "beating illness" which can become intensely self-destructive if you are not experiencing the usual New Age Book miracle cure. He shows you how much anger you feel towards yourself when you are in pain, and how this self-directed anger can intensify your pain. Finally he shows you how to "make room" around your pain and let it float, with a series of directed meditations that I have found to be extremely helpful.
The techniques in this book are particularly good for people who are in physical pain or who are dealing with incurable illness, though they also work well for people dealing with emotional crises.
This is such a useful book, I'd say, don't wait until you are in the sort of crisis where you need the techniques it teaches. Every one of us will face pain and death at some point, and this book gives you practical, down-to-earth tools for living with them.
Levine's book offers a refreshing way of dealing with pain caused by a variety of diseases - from cancer to the unknown. Often we turn against ourselves. We judge how well we do with 'fighting' pain or 'beating' death or even 'praying for someone to heal' by the outcome. If we fought hard enough, or bargained well enough, our prayers were answered. If we 'gave up,' that was failure. Levine's approach is different, freeing. Rather than fighting the pain, we recognize it as part of us and go with it, often learning surprising things.
Levine offers guided meditations, something I'm not particularly fond of, but for those who like to do these, these look like they would be good for people to do with an ailing family member.
He offers stories of the ways people have successfully dealt with their pain (physical and emotional). One that stands out is of a woman who had lead a fairly self-centered, bitter life (before the pain!). In the hospital, she was so hard to get along with that nurses were slow to answer her ring. She was sharp and mean-spirited to her own family, and eventually they stopped visiting her.
Her pain became so great that, quite uncharacteristically, she began envisioning other people who might have experienced the pain. The idea that her pain wasn't just hers - that it wasn't wasn't a punishment exclusively for her, but something that many others have had somehow opened her heart, and she did not die alone. This isn't written in a sappy manner - there are happy and sad endings in the book.Read more ›
You may resonate more powerfully with this book if you have even a passing familiarity with Zen/Buddhist philosophy. But it is certainly not a prerequisite. This is a book for everyone. "Sick" or "well", "happy" or "depressed", "contented" or "fed up". It speaks to the HUMAN condition in all it's manifestations. Almost anyone would classify this book as being a "spiritually" oriented book but it is so grounded in the "suchness" (as Stephen puts it) of everyday life that it comes closer to being a nitty gritty Ultimate Guide to Living A Human Life than it does any airy, ungrounded "spiritual" read.
I'm not a big fan of guided meditations either. And I've found that all "techniques" will fail you eventually if you see them as an end in themselves. But Stephen does an EXCELLENT job of not just suggesting some things to try but explaining WHY YOU ARE DOING THEM! You understand why he is telling you to "breathe with a soft belly"... he doesn't just hit you over the head with.... "Enlightenment in 30 days through the use of the amazing Soft Belly technique" which is the take of so many books.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a book that everyone should read. So heartfelt. So loving. So understanding of life and death. Healing in so many ways.Published 2 months ago by margery gerard
I originally bought this book many years ago. Enduring wisdom for healing in all aspects of life, not just when mortally ill.Published 8 months ago by S. Schneider
I'm almost finished with it, and while it's bit dense and a bit heavy because it's addressing in part terminal illness (as well as non-terminal illness), I think it's remarkably... Read morePublished 13 months ago by M
Another great help when working with someone dying.Published 16 months ago by Pam Culley-McCullough
I found this book to be very interesting and am glad to have read it.Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
One of the best books ever written... it could change your life.:)Published 18 months ago by peacefulevolution
A guide to living a fulfilling life as much as to the process of dying. Guided meditation scripts very helpful.Published 21 months ago by Brandi Miss